GarageBand for Windows XP
Phillip writes, "I was wondering if you could possibly help me with a recommendation. My daughter used an Apple laptop and is now using a WinXP Pro laptop. She is quite happy with the whole matter other than her inability to find any software that she feels is comparable to Apple's GarageBand. Any suggestions?"
Mixcraft for Windows is an audio looping and editing tool made by Acousitca. Mixcraft is the GarageBand for Windows because it makes it simple to start building a song in a matter of minutes, just like you can with GarageBand. Mixcraft integrates loop importing. Mixcraft is even compatible with Apple Loops used in GarageBand. Voice and music recording are supported both with virtual and real instruments. Beat matching and key changes happen on the fly just like they do in GarageBand.
Ever since Apple first released GarageBand, I've been desperate to find something that comes close to the simplicity of GarageBand's loop-based music composition.
Windows Loop Creation
Many loop-based composition tools have been around forever. Sony Acid Pro, Adobe Audition, Propellerhead Reason, Steinberg Cubase, FL Studio (aka Fruity Loops) and Cakewalk Project 5 are among the pro solutions for composing with loops.
Steinberg offers the Cubase SE entry level product for $99. Cakewalk Kinetic is priced around $70. One other app, which I haven't personally tried is Sony Acid Music Studio, which purports to be a light version of Acid Pro, which may mean it's confusing to use. The one thing all these solutions lack is ease of use. GarageBand is a winner because it's easy to use. Acoustica, the people who make Mixcraft, finally got it right for PC users by creating Mixcraft.